Mourinho explains why Mkhitaryan can’t make the bench

Date published: Thursday 14th December 2017 9:59

Jose Mourinho has discussed why Henrikh Mkhitaryan can’t even get on the Manchester United bench at present.

Mkhitaryan has not been involved in seven of the last 18 squads, with his only appearance in the first team coming as a second-half substitute during the 1-0 win over Brighton.

The Armenia star began the season in superb form, laying on five goals in his first three appearances. But his form nosedived, with Juan Mata or Jesse Lingard now preferred in the No.10 position.

Mkhitaryan is struggling even to make the substitutes’ bench and is being linked with a January exit. Following the 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Wednesday, Mourinho explained his reasoning.

“I can only have six [outfield] players on the bench and I try to have some balance on the bench,” he said.

“I had two defenders and [Daley] Blind who can play in different areas. I had Ashley Young to cover me all of the wing and the wing-back position.

“I had [Ander] Herrera as a midfield player, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] as a striker and Marcus [Rashford] as a second striker and winger. I played [Anthony] Martial, [Juan] Mata and [Jesse] Lingard in the team. To have Micki means that I don’t have one of them and, in this moment, I believe the other ones they deserve [to be picked].”

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